Water levels in major reservoirs maximum in last 13 years: CWC
News this week
13 May 2020
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Narmada river in Madhya Pradesh (Source: IWP Flickr photos)

Water storage level 76 percent more than last year: CWC

According to the Central Water Commission's (CWC) weekly bulletin, as on 6 May, 2020, live water storage in 123 reservoirs in India was 68.04 billion cubic metre (BCM) which is 75.6 percent from the corresponding period of last year. Moreover, owing to the above normal monsoon last year, the current storage as percentage of live capacity at full reservoir level (FRL) is at 40 percent which is the maximum in the last 13 years, in the matching periods. The region-wise break-up shows that the southern, eastern, western and central regions had storage levels higher than the year-ago period while the northern region had lower storage levels. (Business Today)

Covid-19 could spread through sewage, fear environmentalists

Referring to recent CPCB guidelines and advising sanitation workers to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), various environmental networks in the country have voiced their concerns over reports about Covid-19 spreading through domestic sewage discharge and into inland water bodies. They also claimed that SARS-CoV2 is detectable in sewage in affected areas even before the detection of any clinically confirmed case. Therefore, monitoring sewage discharge points can work as an early warning system. To prevent a new threat for the community transmission of the coronavirus at a large scale, the environmentalists are collating information and will soon write to the Centre and the states to flag the serious concern. (The Tribune)

ICMR rejects NMCG proposal to test Ganga water for Covid-19 treatment

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has sent a proposal to the Indian Medical Research Council (ICMR) to perform clinical trial on Ganga river water to examine if it can be used to treat patients infected with coronavirus. NMCG received several proposals, that were forwarded to ICMR, on the subject which claimed Ganga water has a 'ninja-virus', which can boost immunity and has anti-viral properties. However, the top medical body has rejected the proposal as it needs much scientific data, proof of concept and a strong background hypothesis. (Outlook India, Scroll.in)

Haryana to incentivise farmers for shifting from water-intensive crops

In a bid to conserve water and move away from paddy cultivation and allow crop diversification, the Haryana Government has launched Mera Pani, Meri Virasat Scheme. Under the scheme, farmers who switch to alternative crops like maize, pulses vegetables or diversify into horticulture in place of paddy during the season would be given an incentive of Rs 7,000 per acre. The scheme has been specifically launched for the eight paddy-intensive blocks-- Ratia, Siwan, Guhla, Pipli, Shahabad, Babain, Ismailabad and Sirsa. However, as per President of Kisan Shakti Sangh, the announcement may not woo farmers away from paddy as they need more incentives to shift to pulses and oil seeds. (The Tribune, Financial Express)

Telangana farmers stand against state government's decision to mine sand

Farmers in Mahbubnagar protested against the state government’s decision to mine sand from the Dundubhi canal for the construction of 2BHKs. With no perennial rivers or any lift irrigation project in the region, farmers depend on the canal and groundwater for irrigation and the decision to transport sand from the canal has raised the fear of drying up nearly 300 borewells and affecting farming. Instead, the farmers have suggested the government to construct check dams and warned of leaving their villages if the mining commences. (The New India Express)

This is a roundup of important news published between May 1- 10, 2020. Also read policy matters this week.

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